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Committees, Collaborations and Task Forces

“The Perceptions of Teachers and Teaching in Australia” report from Monash University November 2019 found that 75% of teachers disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement “I find my current workload manageable.”

Nothing too profound with that statement as we know there is a constant conversation about the need to reduce teacher workload while maintaining student progress.

I believe there is a process within all schools that has been overlooked as an opportunity to reduce the workload for educators – committee meetings.

Since the education department removed regional offices and centralised the support for schools, the decision-making process has been left to the principals and their staff. Hence the emergence of Committees to guide instruction and implementation of curriculum – Literacy, Numeracy, HAAS, Science, Wellbeing. Committees sprouted like mushrooms with representation through the year levels.

Any questions or support required would go to the committee for interpretation and direction. So, we have Year 1 literacy issues being adjudicated by Year 6 educators. That is like the State Government being asked to solve the maintenance issues of your local sports oval.

The Committee is another level of administration and time dedication that takeaway from educators practicing their craft. The Collaboration meeting on the other hand is where the rubber hits the road. This is the forum where real Year level issues are solved by the people closest to the problem.

The Year 1 Collaboration members know exactly what is required to progress the Year 1 students. They understand their needs, their strengths and the resources necessary to reach their potential.

The opportunity to reduce workload lies in removing Committees and becoming a Collaboration meeting only school.

Year specific or phase Collaboration meetings are all over their curriculum needs in Literacy, Numeracy, HAAS Science etc. It is alright. The educators will solve the issues as they arise. They are professionals and know their craft.

A well led Collaboration Team will trump a committee every day of the week. An educator should only be expected to attend their Year Level Team (Collaboration Meeting) to discuss planning, teaching and assessing. Focus on these three crafts, and student progress will flourish, educator workload will reduce, and school culture will thrive.

Oh, and if there is a burning curriculum issue, create a Task Force, ask for volunteers, meet as necessary to solve the issue and disband. People are more prepared to volunteer when there is a set timeframe.

If you need more information as to the structure and formation of a Collaboration meeting only school, then I am only too happy to help.

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